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A new riemann solver for modelling bridges in flood flows - Development and experimental validation

Lookup NU author(s): James Mckenna, Dr Vassilis Glenis, Professor Chris Kilsby



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Flows in rivers can be strongly affected by obstacles to flow or artificial structures such as bridges, weirs and dams. This is especially true during floods, where significant backwater effects or diversion of flow out of bank can result. However, within contemporary industry practice, linear features such as bridges are often modelled using coarse approximations, empirically based methods or are omitted entirely. Presented within this paper is a novel Riemann solver which is capable of modelling the influence of such features within hydrodynamic flood models using finite volume schemes to solve the shallow water equations. The solution procedure represents structures at the interface between neighbouring cells and uses a combination of internal boundary conditions and a different form of the conservation laws in the adjacent cells to resolve numerical fluxes across the interface. Since the procedure only applies to the cells adjacent to the interface at which a structure is being modelled, the method is therefore potentially compatible with existing hydrodynamic models. Comparisons with validation data collected from a state of the art research flume demonstrate that the solver is suitable for modelling a range of flow conditions and structure configurations such as bridges and gates.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mckenna J, Glenis V, Kilsby C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Mathematics and Computation

Year: 2023

Volume: 447

Print publication date: 15/06/2023

Online publication date: 11/02/2023

Acceptance date: 14/01/2023

Date deposited: 26/04/2023

ISSN (print): 0096-3003

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5649

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.amc.2023.127870

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/mg21-gv05


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